What upsets me more is that the idea for Twist Your Dickens is phenomenal, but it ends up being a poor excuse for perplexing and annoying attempts at hilarity.
Tony Frankel – Stage and Cinema
This version of Dickens’ classic won’t live on nearly as long as the original. But it doesn’t really matter. The audience laughed and applauded, and in its twisted way the show spreads just the right amount of holiday cheer.
Katherine Davis – Backstage
But this twist on Dickens is good medicine for a harried season that can sometimes leave you too stressed out to even smile.
Charles McNulty – LA Times
The kidded narrative is interspersed with yule-based sketches, offering Santa an easy accounting task: The stuff involving Ebenezer Scrooge (a crisp, droll Ron West), Tiny Tim (lovely Jean Villepique) et al is a treat, while the extra material mostly merits lumps of coal.
Bob Verini – Variety
When it comes to improv-derived satire, the precise alchemy that distinguishes the sizzling hot from the hopelessly hypothermic is anyone’s guess. Suffice it to say that whatever blend of revealing caricature, pinpoint parody and lunatic incongruity is required for spontaneous comic combustion, it is mostly missing from this decidedly lukewarm holiday offering by Second City.
Bill Raden – LA Weekly
“A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens” is exactly the kind of departure from tradition that contemporary culture revels in and is tailor-made for this generation’s need for constant quotable sound bites and obsession with the derailed train of thought celebrated by Facebook and Twitter.
Farrell Nicholas – EdgeLosAngeles
There is only an excuse of a storyline, and no genuine character development or cathartic emotionality. For those who go to the theater exclusively for the above, “Twist Your Dickens” may not be the right cup of tea. On the other hand, for those who can shift their standards and enjoy a night of witty, fresh comedy simply for what it is, and nothing more—the show is sure to delight and entertain.
Sarah Itkis – Neon Tommy
It’s great to be able to find some humor in the holidays, and while this staged mayhem might not be as coherent as “A Coney Island Christmas,” you’ll laugh plenty.
Sarah A. Spitz – Santa Monica Daily Press
Although a little disorganized and silly, “Twist Your Dickens!” still manages to be witty and entertaining.
Brigit Harvey – The Daily Bruin
Think Saturday Night Live-meets-Masterpiece Theatre on steroids.
Les Spindle – Frontiers
Second City meets Charles Dickens, and the result is the rudest, most outrageous and hilarious Christmas Carolyou’ll probably ever see.
Willard Manus – Total Theater
At the performance I saw, the level of laughter never got far beyond a few polite titters. The talented cast appears to have been set adrift by writers Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort and director Marc Warzecha.
Don Shirley – LA Stage Times
While A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens! is a diverting evening in the theater, it doesn’t quite live up to the high standards set by the name Second City.
Jonas Schwartz – TheaterMania
The tomfoolery in the middle is supposed to take the micky out of we who live today. It was performed in as vulgar and witless a fashion as possible, making it more like a Rotarian’s Roast than a professional presentation.
Dale Reynolds – Stagehappenings
The Second City’s hybrid of satire mixed with a beloved Christmas tale results in a two-hour evening of slightly above average sketch comedy.
Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA
Chicago’s Second City’s “A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens!” is like a wicked blending of the famous fable with more recent holiday traditions for an adult and sometimes non-PC theatrical event.
Jana Monji – LA Examiner
Much of the show as quite funny though not as amusing as one might have wanted or expected. The cast depended a bit too much on the juxtaposition of cuss words and anachronisms to get laugh.
Robert Machray – Stagehappenings
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: TWIST YOUR DICKENS
Presented by Center Theatre Group
At the Kirk Douglas Theatre
9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City
Nov. 29–Dec. 30, 2012
Tickets: (213) 972-7376
About the Author: We don’t “review” shows here at the Lemon, rather we "review" reviews by gathering them from a variety of local review sites around the internet, judging them to be positive or negative, then forming an aggregate score that we call a LEMONMETER RATING, showing how well that show has been reviewed in total. For more detail on how the LemonMeter works visit here.